Sine I read quite often of the geographical problems of the Axis in the middle I decided to sketch out an alternative plan for the Axis.
Here one of the possible Axis plans to stay into the race without attacking the West.
Should the West and the Soviets always attack the Axis then you are caught in the historical mind set and should either change to a 3 player open for all or a game that simulates WW2 more closely.
Please note that even if the rules of the game are short and quite easy to understand, the game is deep and it will take at least 10 games for you to develop a deeper understanding of the game.
As the Axis you need resources.
The best way to get them is by diplomacy since this gives no cards to your opponents and generates free troops for you.
So I as the Axis usually start with 7 action and 4 investment cards as an example.
In the diplomatic game the muster 2 and 3 neutrals should be a priority since you can conquer the muster 1 neutrals without giving to many cards to your opponents.
Top priority is the Balkan, especially Romania.
Austria is very helpful to since it lets you conquer the 1 muster neutrals in the Balkans fast.
In the North Sweden is a very juicy diplomatic target while you probabely conquer Denmark.
Stay out of Portugal, Spain, Latin Ameica and Persia.
Try to keep Poland and Turkey from becoming Russian Satellites.
Norway can go to the West if you can get good relations with them. It helps if the West has a border with the Soviets.
In 37 you should still invest into action cards and investment cards.
In 38 it depends how the diplo game played out and how heavyly your competition invested into troops.
Around 40 you should have a production of 15-18 and maybe 15 resources.
You will be looking for resources, the Soviets for population
and the nearing US entry should make it clear that the West is in the lead or soon will be....
This should lead to an open for all for everybody.
Of course this plan has to be ajusted for your meta game,
depending on the personality and experience of your fellow leaders.